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tv   [untitled]    June 6, 2011 10:00pm-10:30pm PDT

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polls consistently show that when california voters are offered the choice between the death penalty and the option of life without possibility of parole, voters prefer the option of life without parole. a poll was done in 2009 by a professor at uc santa cruz where he asked about replacing the death penalty with a sentence of life without parole with work and restitution, whether it is people -- with the people sentenced to life without parole would be required to work and some of the restitution would go to victims, and 2/3 of californians chose the option of life without parole and preferred that alternative. there is very strong support among voters for replacing the death penalty. in terms of how it would work, the governor has absolute authority to change any criminal sentence he wants, and that includes a death sentence, which he has the power to convert with -- convert to life without possibility of parole. the governor would take that action, most cases would
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completely end with him. he could change those sentences himself. fork cases where the person has two prior convictions, they would go to the california supreme court for further review, and four justices on the california supreme court would need to approve the governor's action in that case. the california supreme court spends over 1/3 of their time working on death penalty cases, and they are under enormous pressure financially. the entire judicial system is. while we do not know what the supreme court would do, it would certainly be a huge relief to them to have these death penalty cases go away. after the death sentences had been converted to life without parole, it would be a question of reclassifying the inmates and moving them into other high- security prisons across california. then, the question of where they were in the appellate process would have to be addressed by the courts. in fact, both people -- most people on death row are still waiting for attorneys to be
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appointed, so in most cases, their appeals have not even begun. not most, 45%. they do not have habeas counsel, and many do not even have their first appellate attorney. a lot of this cases would simply be treated as life without parole appeals. for the cases that are later in the states, courts would have to address whether the appeals continue or whether or not their sentence had been changed to life without parole simply resolve all the issues in their case and ended the appeals process. >> we've got less than five minutes, so i want to invite the panelists each to say something in closing. maybe you could each take a minute, whoever would like to go first. >> we can go this way, so i will start. it is a great pleasure to be here. it is a wonderful crowd today,
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and this is a wonderful panel to be here with. each of these individuals have enormous life experience that is so much more important than anything i could say, and i have learned a lot being on this panel which east of them -- with each of them, and i appreciate them taking the time to share their views and being so honest and forthcoming. these are exactly the voices we need to end the death penalty in california and across the country, and i hope all of you will get involved and go to the website -- -- and you will find many ways to get involved. particularly right now, telling the governor to cut the death penalty, to convert all death sentences. if each of you were to go home and take that action, to send an e-mail message or hand write a letter to the governor, that would make a huge difference. together, we can end the death penalty in california. [applause] >> thank you for having me here
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today. i would like to close by saying i have had the opportunity to view this issue from every point of view, having been the warden at san quentin state prison. i am absolutely impassioned about the fact that it is time to end the death penalty in this state. life without possibility of parole is the real sentence. hold people accountable and gives them the opportunity to change within the prison system, and they can give back by working within the prison system, giving restitution to family members and working on behalf of the state of california on a variety of projects that go on inside prisons. i also want to echo what the process said -- please join, please help -- i also want to echo what natasha said. talk to 10 of your friends, send e-mails, send letters. thank you. [applause] >> 1985, when i was sentenced to
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death for a crime i did not commit, i thought right away that this would be rectified. i was convicted of two different crimes. it took 18 years. it took me seven execution dates. i watched 12 then be executed while i was there -- i watched 12 and then be executed while i was there. i'm not in a position to say whether either of them -- whether any of them were guilty or innocent. mr. d.a., i am asking you, truly consider leaving the death penalty along. let that be in god's hands, what that person goes through or deals with. there are too many flaws in our system that we cannot control and we cannot trust a man. i am asking you to consider
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that, to take the consideration of that. the question we did not answer was it one of these guys were in this and that was executed by a prosecutor that had evidence that was clearly convincing that that person was innocent, what would you do? that was a simple question to me. that was not a tricky question. it was a straight up question dealing with innocence and the prosecutor doing something that was considered murder or attempted murder. you could answer that. you faded around that question, and to me, that is enough to make me think you should consider not dealing with the death penalty and joining in the fight to abolish the death penalty. we went to illinois, and i was with another group. we would go from state to state that have the death penalty and go to legislators and everyone asking them to abolish the death penalty. in the last two years, we have
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been successful. it appears like we are going to have to put california on our list. but that is all i wanted to say. that is something that once you take a life, you cannot bring it back. accountability needs to be on your part, too, on the district attorney's part, so if he knew a man was innocent and still prosecuted him, that a straight up murder -- that is straight up murder. that is not malfeasance. [applause] >> i want to thank the public defender's office for putting this panel together. i understand there was a good panel this morning. these are issues that are conflicts, and they require continuing dialogue. the law is not perfect. the law is always evolving. it was an honor also to be with the other panelists here.
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i think that the issue of the death penalty is one that obviously is right -- ripe for us to bring this back to the voters. i think there is a great deal of evidence today that speaks to the problems of wrongful convictions. i think we all understand what the factors are. we know there is a problem with wrongful convictions -- convictions. there is certainly a problem with prisoner treatment, and there is a problem with closure to the victims as well as the financial costs. it is up to all of us collectively to talk about how we deal with this and create a more profitable policy around dealing with very serious crimes, and i welcome the opportunity for having been here today. thank you very much. [applause]
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>> jeff adacci has a few closing remarks. >> i am a public defender. >> good afternoon. i am with the d a's office. >> in closing today's program, we want to first of all thank all of you for being here and being part of this discussion. no doubt, we achieved a great deal. this was not just another talking head conference where people were just here to give a speech. you really heard engaged discussion from this morning all the way up until now. we thank our panelists because they came here with an open heart and an open mind. we are going to talk in a minute about how we are going to move things fwa. i want to thank the staff of the public defender's office and the
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many volunteers who made this possible. we thank the library staff as well as sfgovtv for their good work here. john came here because we invited him and because he knew that he is making a difference and will continue to make a difference. after serving 14 years on death row and spending 18 years of his life fighting the case, he continued to fight for justice, and he brought his case to the united states supreme court. he received a $40 million jury verdict, and in april, the united states supreme court overturned that, even though in this case, there were three
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prosecutors who have -- who were found to have intentionally withheld evidence that would have exonerated him. plus, and this is a great lesson for all of us, it was a prosecutor who was the hero. he stood up and came forward and told everybody what the other two prosecutors did. when he did that, his efforts were rebuked by the district attorney. as a result, he left his job. it tells you that there are heroes everywhere. people are standing up for justice everywhere. we have to reach everyone everywhere every place in order to solve this problem. we do have a plaque to presented -- present to j.t > as a result of everything he has been through, but more importantly, to help him in the
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future -- present to j.t. as a result of everything he has been through, but more importantly, for everything he will do in the future. you can support the work he does with a reentry program for persons coming back from prison. so if we could present this to you. [applause] moving forward, our work cannot stop here. i would like to have christine talk about what we are going to be doing moving forward. we have had meetings with district attorney george gascono
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about doing things differently. within the police chief, a new district attorney, we have that opportunity -- with a new police chief, a new district attorney, we have that opportunity. i would also like to acknowledge supervisor ross mirkarimi to come up here just for a moment and say hello, and let me have christine close the program. >> good afternoon, everybody. it was a pleasure to listen to the last panel this afternoon. i am the chief of staff for mr. gascon, and i joined him when he moved over to the d.a.'s office. joining the office on his request, because i think we really have a unique perspective, having worked on the defense side and on policy issues, and i can attest that he is undertaking a wholehearted effort to really bring some
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reform to the criminal justice system on many fronts, this being one of them that we are evaluating. i hope that you as city and county residents will see in our work that we really take some efforts that will reform. anybody that has participated in the criminal justice system for any length of time knows that it does not work from whatever and will you are looking at it, so the question is how do we make it better? we hope to engage all of you in that. we are starting neighborhood courts, and a lot of efforts that we hope to engage the city and county in supporting us and looking at ways to move away from the over incarceration of people and look at ways to reform their behavior. the efforts we have undertaken when george was appointed to the position -- jeff asked him to come to the public defender's office to have a question and answer session, which he did, and i attended with him. we are told that was the first time that had ever happened, and
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we reciprocated by asking jeff to meet with the district attorneys in our office. we have begun a dialogue that both sides think is very healthy. we have identified a number of issues that we think require further exploration, so we are creating working group's staff by the people from the d.a.'s office and the public defender's office to look at improving things like discovery, which is an important issue, making sure that we have reciprocal discovery and that it is transparent and complete. looking at workers from collaborative courts, looking at solutions besides incarceration, dealing with mental health and behavioral health issues, rather than using the jails as a solution to that, and we are also working around juvenile issues to make sure we are doing all we can for those under the age of 18 in our community. those are the efforts we are undertaking. jeff and matt have been a fantastic partners in this. as far as we know, it is a new
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day in these efforts and really trying to work collaboratively and we hope to have all your support in doing that. [applause] >> of course, that is not to say that we are not going to fight it out in court because, of course, that is what we do. i would like to briefly introduce ross mirkarimi, who is a supervisor here in the city, and he has been a champion of many criminal justice issues, including prisoner reentry. i also want to thank and acknowledge debra atherton. thank you. supervisor mirkarimi: it is nice to see everybody. jeff is generous. i was not expecting to be up here. i know you have had a productive day. i think that the public defender's summit is something
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not to be missed and a template for the rest of california and probably the nation to follow. i am proud of our public defender. i am proud of our criminal justice partners because over the last four years, we have seen a great amount of innovation. jeff and i started the city's first reentry council, and it might be bewildering to you, but before we started it, believe it or not, those stakeholders in the criminal-justice system really very irregularly rarely would come together and talk about ways that we might mitigate, reduce our recidivism rate. great progress has been made, but san francisco still needs to step up its game. i was delighted to hear the conversation that took place here, but no the statistic that for every four people that sanford's is the police department arrests and the da prosecutes, nearly three are
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repeat offenders -- for every four people that san francisco police department arrests and the da prosecutes -- the d.a. prosecutes. there is evidence to show that doing everything we can to try to divert some of his life from repeating their offense, but we will have to really vigorously enhance our approach. one way to do that obviously is the collaboration being fostered and demonstrated here today, but it is more than just today. it will have to be every single day, or else california will continue to be building more prisons, and san francisco may not be far behind. thanks. [applause] >> once again, thanks for the flag. [laughter] have a good time. have a good evening. thank you very much.
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>> as the city of san francisco has grown, there are a number of cultural organizations that have grown with it. the san francisco symphony, the ballet, and ensure we are celebrating the 75th anniversary of the san francisco museum of modern art's. one of the things many of our viewers may not understand about museums is the way they grow and evolve is really about a broad. his patient and support from many individuals who give their collections -- and broad support
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from many individuals who give their collections to the museum. this year it will be celebrating and abolishing those individuals through exhibition -- and acknowledging those individuals throughout asia. joining me is janet bishop, the curator. i understand you have been with the museum quite a number of years. you remember its original home on van ness. now you are part of that transition to the center, the civic center, and of course your museum has been really the anchor of cultural tenants that has helped us transform this area of the city. >> to my mind, it is wonderful to be part of such a rich cultural community. when visitors come to this area, that have so many different options. >> let's talk about the
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anniversary show, which will be a phenomenal opportunity for san franciscans and all visitors of the city to get a real sense of how the city has grown and the importance of culture. >> we focus on moments where it was involved in pushing the dialogue about contemporary art forward. the jackson pollock exhibition in 1945 is a perfect example of that. our founding director was deeply interested in abstraction and was engaged in dialogue with the guggenheim about bringing the jackson pollack showed to the west coast. the original price for the painting, $750. are directors thought that was too much of a stretch before the board of trustees, so she convinced them to reduce the price to firefighter dollars. it was just -- to $500. it was what was needed to persuade the board.
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it is a very subjective history of art. it has been very much shaped by the individuals involved with the museum over the years. in 1935, would start with the gallery with works that came in through albert bender, one of our founding trusties. when we opened our doors in 1935, 181 of the 186 pieces in our permanent collection had been gifted. >> what are the names that pop out as the museum evolved? >> we have another gallery that looks at the theories that the museum has since the late 1980's. we focus on a particular aspect of that program that developed under one of art curators. he arrived in 1989 and was
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especially interested in artists. >> are some of the highlights? >> one of the aspects of the museum program that i have been especially involved with have been the exhibitions that stand for society for the encouragement of contemporary art. it is encouraged to honor exceptional bay area artists during their careers. for instance, an early worked who showed here in 1996. for this exhibition, he has extended an updated it to 2010 with the addition of photographs and other freworks. >> thank you for joining us. >> my pleasure. >> as we examine the 75th anniversary, we cannot overlook its important role as an educational institution and how
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it brings public program to all of our citizens in the bay area. try me now to talk about that is dominick, the curator of education and public programs. you are vested with a multifaceted responsibility, with education and also multimedia. could you explain that? >> there are three main areas. we produce education activities for all ages, k-12, and adults, and we also produce a lot of educational media, a lot of interviews with artists, stuff that we published online, and other galleries. there's also a public program, which include some educational activities, but also live
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cultural programming for the artists projects. >> what are all the ways that the museum reaches out? >> the latest platform for educational media is launching right now with his anniversary. we have gotten to the point where we could put a lot of the content about artists, the stories behind artists we have had on line, but those on to the ipod touch. >> could you talk about the education role that the museum plays in the city of san francisco? >> we are in the middle of a new initiative to provide more resources and programs for families and the locality. we are benefiting from a grant from the wallace foundation, and in the last two years many more bay area families have come to the museum, participated in the
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programs, most of which take place on sundays. we will see more and more different offerings rolled out in the coming months. >> thank you, dominic, for being part of "culture wire." >> the museums are almost like a team sport. there is a tremendous amount of talented staff that puts together patrons to help support the institutions, but they all need a coach. the coach is the director. neal, could you let the viewers know, you have been director how long? >> we are working on eight years. >> now you have the 75th anniversary. how does that feel? >> we opened this building in 1995. it was bought at that time as a move from the civic center and the veterans building 2 third
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street, into our new building, a much expanded space, better space. it will be wonderful for the museum for decades to come. and 15 short years we have been amazed by we have outgrown the building. the collection has grown to 26,000 works. >> was a challenging to decide what was going to be put on display during the anniversary year? >> 3 people on our staff spent 2 1/2 years of going through archives, the storage vaults, honor think all kinds of works that we have not seen -- uncovering lot of works that we have not seen but also history we uncovered about how we presented a television show produced by the museum, in the museum, in 1950. a lot of great stories that the
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presentation tells. >> the most recent news was the incredible decision on the part of donna morris fisher to give their collection to sfmoma. >> think it is commonly understood that the fischer collection was 1100 works by some of the great contemporary works, one of the great collections in the world. in fact, the collection has not been seen. it has been largely stored at the headquarters, there has never been a publication or exhibition. >> but fischer collection and the additional expansion over the next 50 years, what in the next 25 years will the museum be doing? >> we are very committed to expanding the museum, expanding the collection, the ovl